I was very excited to learn about Grade 3 is the Place for Me's linky party for new bloggers.
1. what state you are in--Arkansas. I was born here, moved away, and returned for college (at the strong suggestion of my parents, lol).
2. your current teaching position--I teach a third grade integrated class.
3. your teaching experience--I graduated with my Master of Arts in Teaching in 2009. I had a really hard time finding a job my first year, and took a job as a Reading Recovery teacher/Interventionist. As it turned out, I learned so much about teaching reading, and ended up getting to teach the literacy block for the 4th grade advanced class. I absolutely LOVED that position. My boyfriend and I then moved to a different city within Arkansas, where I obtained my current teaching position. When we moved, I decided to add another certification to my teaching credentials--Special Education! I am now entering my third year of teaching in my current city.
4. when you started blogging--I started blogging at the beginning of this July. I have only been here for three weeks!
5. share a blogging tip / blogging resource--Don't get discouraged if you don't have a lot of followers right away. I know it's hard (it's hard for me), but hold out hope that you will one day have many followers!
-------On to Daily Five: Chapter 7-------
Use a Chart or Grid to check-in before every round. I'll see if Mrs. A can save the chart she used as a PDF and I will add it here and to my shops as a FREEBIE :) You have already seen the checklist the students use to keep track of their stations, but I like to have one for myself also... just in case there are any discrepancies.
I also like to use check-ins as a time to reflect and assess how we are doing in out D5 stations. My students felt comfortable enough to be honest about their progress, and were always willing to share a glow/grow about themselves.
A schedule for Daily 5 can easily work with any school schedule. If you have a long block of time, that is ideal, but you can also create a schedule in smaller chunks, spread throughout the day.
I am fortunate, and for the past two years have had roughly 2 hours and 15 minutes of solid instruction time in the morning and the afternoon. We also have a small (30-45 minutes) chunk of time between our pull-out class and lunch/recess. Our administration is really good about creating schedules that allow us to get the most out of our day.
Once the routine is established it allows teacher to do DRA's, reading inventories, conferences, and oral reading check-ins. I am hoping to do a better job of creating times to meet for individual conferences and strategy-based groups this year. Also, since my class is integrated, I have a paraprofessional for 2.5-3 hours a day, and really make sure I am using her in the best possible ways. Since last year was my first time with a para, I didn't always do the best job of giving her small groups to work with... The paraprofessional at our school are wonderful, WONDERFUL, and this year I am going to make sure that my kids get the most out of both of us!!
This past year, we practiced for 3 minutes to begin with, met for a check-in, and practiced again, to see if we could beat our previous time.
I love, love, love this stopwatch poster I found over at A Differentiated Kindergarten. I think it's a great way to keep track of our stamina, and promote that little bit of competitiveness to drive the students!
Set Up Room
Setting up a gathering place--I talked about this in an earlier chapter... Chapter 2, maybe? I'll have to go back and check. But we have a carpet where we meet for our check-ins, most of our mini-lessons and whole-group lessons. What can I say? I love that carpet!
Organizing your library--This is something I SWEAR I am going to do this summer. My books are organized by genre/type of book, but I haven't labeled all the books yet, so it makes it hard to keep them organized... It's just so time consuming, and *confession* I can't always decide in which basket to put some books. Does this happen to anyone else??
Work areas--I have organized my room so that there are many different places to work with my students. If I get lucky and can trade out the rest of my desks for tables, I think it will provide a very easy and convenient way for both my para and I to meet with small groups at their tables--I think that will be SO cool--us coming to them, instead of the other way around!
Reading nooks--My room is well adapted for reading nooks, and I have purchased (i.e. spent way too much money) on pillows and little comfy chairs for my students to use.
Confer with Students
After meeting with a small group for guided reading/literature circle, or instead of meeting with a group, the teacher has the opportunity to have individual or small group conferences to track reading/writing goals and progress. I think this time is ideal for RTI groups, but again, this is an area in which I need to improve this year.
One thing I liked that the sisters said was that the teacher should move around the room to gather students, instead of calling out their names. Calling out to the students interrupts their concentration and the ambiance of the room.
-------Blog Make Over-------
I want to give a HUGE shout out to Mod Melon for my blog design. I did not want anything to bright or cutsy... that's just not me, and this design fits my personality perfectly. Kind of subtle, but still cute :) If you are looking for a blog design, check them out!
I'll try to post again tomorrow... maybe with some classroom pictures and definitely will some freebies!